Hosts Competitive Cities Summit
District of Columbia Mayor Anthony Williams hosted a special Mayors Summit as part of the 1st Annual World Competitive Cities Congress May 19 - 21. The Summit, sponsored by the World Bank, attracted over 145 delegates, from forty-five cities on five continents.
The Mayors Summit brought together Mayors and metropolitan government decision makers for a structured "round table" discussion in a "closed-door" environment. The participants focused on the unique challenges and opportunities that face all cities and in particular, national capital cities.
Mayor Williams spoke about the special role and challenges of the United States capital city, Washington, DC. He described his vision for Washington as the center of a vibrant regional economy and of the importance of "re-knitting" the fabric of the community. The District has great assets. It is an international city with the largest diplomatic community in the world. It is a large tourist and technology center, and the center of Federal government employment. The Mayor stressed that these assets need to be utilized better. His administration is committed to using competition to provide high quality, cost effective services to District residents and businesses.
Conference of Mayors Trustee, Lynn (MA) Mayor Patrick McManus told the international gathering how influential the U.S. Conference of Mayors has been in developing and implementing the urban agenda in the United States. He stressed that while the Conference plays a vital role in representing the interests of cities at the state and Federal levels, it is, more importantly, a forum where mayors can share ideas on how to make cities work better.
During the conference, the delegates discussed "best practices" for delivery of services, strategies for attracting investment and improvement of vital infrastructure; all focused on helping cities, especially national capital cities, gain the competitive edge necessary to thrive in the 21st century.